Thursday, November 30, 2017

Rays Want to Put No More Money Toward New Stadium Than They're Paying Wilson Ramos

The latest stadium news from Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg was that he was standing by his $150 million contribution figure, but that it "could change" if season ticket, sponsorship, and other business partnerships exceeded the team's projections for a new stadium.

ALSO READ: Sternberg Tries Tricking Tampa Bay with Sticker Shock

Exceeding the team's expectations seems like a longshot at this stage in the game, but it was a call to Tampa to put its money where its mouth is and start coughing up either stadium money or season-long commitments now.  But Marc Topkins details:
The $150-million...allows them "to make a contribution, pay off our debt over 25 years – whatever it has to be – and still do what we want to do, which is put a more successful product on the field. … For us to be able to go in and break even again at a $65M payroll, it doesn't make sense. We want to be able to jump the payroll if we're taking that sort of risk."
$150 million, paid over 25 years, with tax-free municipal bonds, is only like $8-10 million a year.  The Rays want to pay just $8-10 million a year for a new stadium.

That's what they're paying catcher WILSON RAMOS next year.

It's a good time to turn the clock back 6.5 years to a Shadow of the Stadium post from 2011, "What Stu Sternberg is Thinking."  An excerpt:
A new stadium could represent $200 million in value to the Rays, including tens of millions in revenue in each of the first few years. And while Sternberg would put a portion of that money into his own pocket, the rest would undoubtedly go back into the team, creating a better product for fans. He sees it as a win-win.

But the problem is that a new stadium would cost substantially more than $200 million. So Sternberg needs help.

private developers may be eager to donate land for a new park, there’s no financial gain to be had from building the actual stadium for a team. That leaves a funding gap for a retractable-roof stadium of approximately $300 million.
The numbers may have grown due to inflation, and we honestly may never know what percentage of new revenues Sternberg will put toward payroll versus toward franchise investors.  But one thing's for sure: that funding gap is monstrous and Hillsborough County still has no idea how to make up the difference in Tampa.

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  1. Brian Auld – president of the Tampa Bay Rays – is on record (2/9/2015 speaking at the Economic Club of Tampa) saying that in order for the Rays to field a competitive team, the new stadium needs to draw 10,000 more fans per game which would translate to about $20 million more per year in revenue. That means payroll could be increased by a maximum of $12 million. The Rays 2017 total payroll (25-man roster + disabled list + retained + buried) was $93 million and the MLB average was $152 million per . So all things being equal, that means the Rays could increase its total payroll from $93 million to $105 million, which would move the team’s rank up just one notch from 27th to 26th. Clearly, the Rays are not going to become more competitive because of a new stadium, even if they had to contribute just the pathetic and paltry $150 million to the cost of the new stadium. There is still the major mountain of an issue of where the other up to $650 million would come from.

  2. I suggest Stu keep the $150 Million for now and invest in French lessons for all....